A gestational carrier (surrogate) IVF cycle is a process where eggs are retrieved from the female patient, fertilized in the laboratory using her partner’s sperm, then transferred into the gestational carrier’s uterus. A gestational carrier IVF cycle is indicated when the female patient has a disorder of the uterus, such as a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or congenital abnormalities such as large fibroids in the uterus. Sometimes, the mother may have a medical condition which would prevent her from tolerating the physiological demands of a pregnancy and may even threaten the mother’s life. The use of a gestational carrier or “surrogate” would allow such patients the opportunity to conceive their own biological children without compromising the safety and health of the mother.
Alternatively, use of a gestational carrier with donor eggs is an option for gay male couples as well as for women whose eggs cannot be used for reasons such as age-related infertility or the risk of passing genetic disorders to her children.
Prior to starting an IVF cycle using a gestational carrier, all involved parties (intended parents and gestational carrier) must undergo medical, psychological and legal counseling. Your physician can help determine if this is the appropriate course of treatment for you and will facilitate each of the steps necessary to begin treatment.